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Thread: How does this system look?

  1. #1
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    How does this system look?

    I'm starting medical shool in the fall and I want to have a stable, fast computer. I currently have an Asus PIIB w/400 MHZ Pentium whatever and 256 Meg Ram and 7500 RPM 40 Gig HD.

    I was on newegg and compiled this:
    VIA P4XB-SA P4X266A P4 DDR 400MHz FSB Socket 478 ATX MOTHERBOARD - $70
    BLACK EVERCASE E4252B005 No Power Supply -$20
    Antec ATX12V 350 Watt Power Supply -$46
    Intel Pentium 4 1.5GHz 256K Socket 478 400MHz w/o RAMBUS RAM CPU Processor -$130.00
    Crucial Micron 512MB 64x64 PC2100 DDR RAM-$128
    SEAGATE SCSI HARD DRIVE 18.0GB 10,000RPM-$160
    Total - $554

    How does sound? Are the SCSI really that much faster than my 7500 RPM drive now? I want a very quickly loading computer that'll last me years (like mine has, 4 years going strong now).

  2. #2
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    I would pick up a Cheetah 15k. The price difference is only about $50. For the same size drive.
    If you want to stay with a 10k drive. Then from what I have seen for bench marks at other sites. The Atlas 2 10k is faster than the Cheetah 10k.
    Here is the place I do my SCSI shoping.
    http://www.hypermicro.com

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    Are SCSI HD's noticeably faster than IDE's, like my 7500RPM HD?

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    Extreme Member! BipolarBill's Avatar
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    Originally posted by lprocter
    Are SCSI HD's noticeably faster than IDE's, like my 7500RPM HD?
    Oh yeah - much.

    On your other choices, I would rather see you with either a SiS or Intel chipset. VIA is a crapshoot, quality-wise.
    MS MCP, MCSE

  5. #5
    Gone Forever....... gibsinep's Avatar
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    Yeah only go with VIA if it is AMD.

    You say you want a stable system so I would get in INTEL board with an Intel Chipset.

    Ram- Crucial makes great RAM good pick
    CPU- Good pick to go with the Northwood over the Willamont core. Plus it will be very overclockable if you want to do so.
    HD - Never used SCSI before so I can comment on the speed difference


    What about the Video card?
    Nothing in life is as certain as death, but death is not a wall but a doorway to a new adventure

  6. #6
    Member biglaker's Avatar
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    I'm not a SCSI user but might I ask, do you not have to get a new SCSI card? What will you do with the existing equipment-- because what you've priced is not a complete rig. If you're transferring the old equipment such as mouse, keyboard, etc., then what about the existing 40 Gb drive? Is that a 68 pin SCSI or an IDE drive? Will you have sufficient slots if both drives are configured differently (different pins) and require different SCSI cards? Also a new SCSI cable? Have fun Biglaker

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    Are SCSI HD's noticeably faster than IDE's, like my 7500RPM HD?
    Yes they are faster. On my P4 rig. With a test done on HDtach. A WD 20 gig only has a data transfer rate of around 20 meg a second. An Atlas 2 SCSI drive on the same computer has a transfer rate of 40 meg a second. the Cheetah 15k I have in this rig now. Runs at 60 meg a second.

    Access times.
    On the WD was 10mls.
    On the Atlas 2 it was 7mls
    On the Cheetah it is 5mls

    There is also very little overhead when you use SCSI. IDE uses the CPU for most of the work in everything you do with the IDE channels. On SCSI the card has its own controller built in. The CPU tells the card what it needs. The card does the work finding and sending back. The CPU waits for the info then.
    There are other reasons for SCSI. But this is enought typing for now.

  8. #8
    Extreme Member! BipolarBill's Avatar
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    Originally posted by biglaker
    I'm not a SCSI user but might I ask, do you not have to get a new SCSI card?
    The motherboard he's getting may very well have a SCSI controller built-in. At that price point, it's unlikely, but possible.
    MS MCP, MCSE

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    Ultimate Member deadkenny's Avatar
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    SCSI is clearly faster, but not worth the $'s IMHO for most apps. When you consider the cost per GB, it's a lot more cost effective to get a couple IDE drives and stripe them.

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    it's a lot more cost effective to get a couple IDE drives and stripe them.
    To stripe them I think you mean raid 0 and the the headache of broken stripes/ hardware failure and so on. It also raises the access time of the hard drive subsystem.
    Here is a site with a good write up on a raid card. Look at the benches close for transfer speed and access times.

    Here is some good reading on what SCSI does with data. With the striping you mentioned for IDE. This doesn't happen.

    With carefull shoping for used SCSI parts you can setup a SCSI system for not much more than a striped system. When you are buying the IDE new.

    My first SCSI HDD setup. Adaptec 29160 controller card $100. used. Quantium Atlas 2 10k HDD $125 used. (The HDD was bought from this website). If you compare the spec's for this drive. It has almost the same speed as the striped setup in the first link. With less than half the access time. This drive is also three generations from the current family of SCSI drives out right now. The newer SCSI drives will blow that IDE setup away.

    In case your wondering. I have used IDE raid before. That is why I do not recommend it for any reason. If the OS is to be installed on it. If you want the extra speed. Bite the bullet and go SCSI.

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    Member smily_03's Avatar
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    one thing I might add...if you do get either a 10k or 15k scsi drive make sure your system will be cooled well with plenty of fans for lots of chilly-chill....drives moving that fast tend to get rather warm and you don't want to have to worry about heat failures...

  12. #12
    Ultimate Member G Ray88's Avatar
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    Iprocter, if you are planning to use your computer as a server, I would go with the SCSI drive. But just to use as normal computer an IDE drive should work just fine besides being cheaper.

  13. #13
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    You're gonna need a SCSI controller for that hard drive. I personally like the Adaptec 19160 line (~$200).

    TomsHardware did a review recently and really liked the Fujitsu SCSI drives. I'd stick w/ the seagate though, but the 15k RPM.

    As for speed, you will notice a difference between a 7200 IDE and 15000 SCSI.

    A 15,000 RPM SCSI is (obviously) spinning twice as fast as a 7200 RPM IDE drive, but its not twice as fast. The two speeds you really care about are seek (aka access) time and the transfer speed. Seek time is the time it takes the read head to get to a piece of data on the disk. This pretty depends on rotation speed, so a 15000 RPM drive will seek about twice as fast as an IDE drive. Seek times are measured in milliseconds and you'll usually see 4ms-15ms.

    Transfer speed is now fast the disk can read or write data once its found it. It seems like that should also depend directly on the rotational speed (if the data goes by twice as fast, shouldn't it read twice as fast?). Well, it doesn't. To spin so fast the high RPM SCSIs store the data at a lower density than a slower spinning IDE drive. So, even though its spinning 2x as fast it may have to read 1.5x as many rotations of the disk to get all the data. (Lower density also means less data per platter, part of why fast SCSI drives are expensive). Speeds are measured in Mb/s or kb/s and you'll see from 10Mb/s (10,000kb/s) to 45Mb/s (45,000kb/s). Sometimes a benchmark will show max and min transfer speed since that speed can vary a lot depending (in part) on how full the drive is.

    With all that said, since the hard drive is often the gating factor (that is, its the slowest piece of hardware in a computer) any speedup there translates pretty directly to overall speed, particularly startup and launch times. SCSI rules.

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member deadkenny's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Philip1952

    To stripe them I think you mean raid 0 and the the headache of broken stripes/ hardware failure and so on. It also raises the access time of the hard drive subsystem.
    Here is a site with a good write up on a raid card. Look at the benches close for transfer speed and access times.

    Here is some good reading on what SCSI does with data. With the striping you mentioned for IDE. This doesn't happen.

    With carefull shoping for used SCSI parts you can setup a SCSI system for not much more than a striped system. When you are buying the IDE new.

    My first SCSI HDD setup. Adaptec 29160 controller card $100. used. Quantium Atlas 2 10k HDD $125 used. (The HDD was bought from this website). If you compare the spec's for this drive. It has almost the same speed as the striped setup in the first link. With less than half the access time. This drive is also three generations from the current family of SCSI drives out right now. The newer SCSI drives will blow that IDE setup away.

    In case your wondering. I have used IDE raid before. That is why I do not recommend it for any reason. If the OS is to be installed on it. If you want the extra speed. Bite the bullet and go SCSI.
    Maybe SCSI prices have dropped recently and I haven't noticed. Last time I checked I could get a pair of 80GB IDE drives and a quality RAID controller at a price way below what 160GB of SCSI storage space would cost.

  15. #15
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    deadkenny
    For a lot of people having 160 gig of storage is a waste. My full load of programs and all stored items take less than 4.5 gig. I have a burner. I do use it or the old 8igg HDD I have installed for backups. I don't store anything on the OS drive that I do not use in a regular manor.
    There are places for a striped setup. But running the OS on it isn't one of them.
    If you notice Iproctor said this is for school. He will have data on it he won't want to loose. He said stable and fast. To fit that bill SCSI is one option. Striped isn't. To big of chance of data loose on it.
    If he needs mass storage. Then throw a cheap IDE drive on it to store on.

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